The Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship Round 4 Program winners have finally been announced, with the Geelong Manufacturing Council (GMC) as one of the 17 grant recipients! With the help of Sprout Scientific, GMC was able to secure funding through this highly competitive program that provides up to $1,000,000 for projects that encourage the participation of women and girls in STEM and entrepreneurship.
Barriers to women and girls’ participation in STEM is a systemic issue in Australia & globally, spanning from primary school to senior careers. The proportion of women in STEM occupations remains low, having dropped to a mere 13% in 2020 (Dept. of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources). Beyond stereotypes & discrimination, this discrepancy is often the result of a lack of understanding of STEM career & education options, fewer role models & mentors, life interruptions (e.g. caring responsibilities), and fewer opportunities for ongoing career development.
Cue the Geelong Manufacturing Council: a Victorian manufacturing industry peak body and women-led not-for-profit comprising over 100 manufacturers, government stakeholders, and education/service providers that work to establish Geelong as an internationally competitive manufacturing centre and make a positive impact on the sustainability of the industry.
GMC currently runs two female-focused initiatives, the Women in Manufacturing Network (WIMN) Mentoring program, and the Girls Leading Advanced Manufacturing (GLAM) program. Both are designed to increase the interest, participation, and positive experiences of women in the manufacturing industry. These programs have been very successful, with 94.5% of GLAM participants reporting improved knowledge of STEM opportunities and 100% expressing their intention to enrol in tertiary STEM degrees. Similarly, GMC’s WIMN program has provided mentorship to countless women in the industry seeking progression advice, improved professional skills, and guidance to navigate systemic obstacles in the working environment.
With the funding secured for their Seed to STEM project, GMC will expand these two initiatives to reach additional regional Victorian centres and provide greater accessibility to women facing intersectional barriers, such as First Nations, low-income, and refugee or migrant women.
We are thrilled to see such a worthy organisation secure this valuable funding, and can’t wait to see the positive impacts these programs will have on the participation and retention rates of women in STEM in regional Victoria.
To learn more about the Geelong Manufacturing Council and their various initiatives and goals, check out their website (https://www.geelongmanufacturingcouncil.com.au/).
To learn more about the statistics we provided in this article from STEM Women, check out their website here: https://bit.ly/3WXg71I
If you’d like to start winning grant or tender opportunities, reach out to Sprout Scientific today to see how we can help! Either send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free consultation here.